“The MKDA team acted as true partners to us throughout every step of the design process for our new 300-person office. They were both proactive and flexible in devising creative solutions that allowed us to maximize our use of the space whilst also making it look beautiful. They are experts in modern office design.” – Lucy Babbage, SVP of People, Betterment.
Betterment, an investment management platform that uses robo advisory software, wanted their new office to recreate their unique company culture while also accommodating for future growth and changes. As a young and progressive company, Betterment prioritized creating a workplace that focuses on employee wellbeing and human-centric elements to foster a more comfortable work environment. The firm also did not pick a single style, instead opting for an eclectic mix of themes and characteristics. From preserving the space’s industrial, historic roots to Mediterranean colors and a fun gaming theme, the seemingly mismatched space exudes a charming and welcoming quality, more reminiscent of home than a corporate office.
The heart of the space is the kitchen and event area. A key aspect of Betterment’s culture is their team lunches, prepared fresh daily by their in-house chefs. The array of tables and seating choices foster a sense of community and encourage informal collaboration between employees. Moreover, in an effort to promote wellness, the pantry is always stocked with a number of healthy snack and beverage options. An assortment of potted plants scattered throughout the room bring warmth to the space and increase general feelings of wellbeing. The expansive area can also be converted into an event space with the ability to support big reunions or meetings. These elements contribute to the office’s communal, inviting atmosphere and help improve employee engagement and overall happiness.
The space features a completely open floor plan with a benching system. There are a number of different huddle and conference rooms, each with its own theme, all named after various global cities for focus and collaboration work. We kept the original wood floors, tin ceilings, columns and exposed brick walls to provide the space a distinctly old New York feel. Exposed metal beams, crackled paint and ductwork contribute further to the space’s industrial, unfinished character. Keeping in line with the space’s eclectic nature, the team included fun, modern touches such as neon lighting and signage, drawing a contrast between the old and the new. A Mediterranean color palette and Corinthian columns add another dimension to the space.